How to Build an Email List with Guest Blogging
You can use guest blogging to build an email list if you do it with intention and strategy.
When you first start marketing online, it can be hard to get any traction. You know you have a great message and you know who your ideal audience is, so why is it so hard to get their attention?
In order to begin growing your list and attracting customers, you need a large platform to send traffic to your website. You can borrow someone else’s platform (and their traffic) by guest blogging on a popular website.
For years, online business owners and marketers have coveted guest posts on big websites, like Huffington Post, Mashable, Buzzfeed, Entrepreneur and Business Insider. But you can build an email list by guest blogging on smaller websites in your industry or niche, as long as they are reputable and more popular than your website. Let’s break down the process.
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Find Popular Blogs
The first thing you’ll want to do is create a list of popular blogs in your niche. You can find these sites by using a search engine, like Google. Look for your niche and the phrase “guest post” or “guest contributor.” For example, your search might look like this:
“natural skin care +guest post” or “skin care +guest contributor”
Once you find a few websites, look at the blogger’s platform. How many subscribers do they have? How many followers do they have on on Instagram and Twitter? What about their Facebook page or group?
Ideally, you’re looking for bloggers that have 10K-100K in followers and fans. You can reach out to bloggers with millions of followers, but it can be much harder to get their attention since they typically receive hundreds of guest posts. By choosing a blog that has 10K-100K followers, they’re big enough to send people to your blog, but small enough to still need guest bloggers.
Read the Posts
After you’ve found a few bloggers that look like they might be a good fit for you, start reading their posts. You want to read the past 2-3 months of content. This ensures that you don’t pitch an idea that they’ve recently covered.
As you read, look for gaps that the blogger may have forgotten to cover. For example, you might find a keto blog that would be a great fit for your audience. As you read posts on the site,you could discover that the blogger hasn’t talked about how to handle the holidays without abandoning the keto diet. That’s a gap you could fill with a helpful guest post.
Engage in the Community
The next step you want to take is to interact with the blog’s readers. You can do this by commenting on Instagram and Facebook posts, participating in Twitter discussions, joining the blog’s Facebook groups or even commenting on Facebook Live videos.
Spend a couple of weeks in conversation with the blog’s followers. Take your time to really get to know the community. Keep in mind that many of these people may very well become your subscribers in the future. Once you get to know them and their pain points, you’ll be able to pitch very valuable guest posts to the blog. (We’re in this for the long game, remember. No shortcuts.)
Follow the Guidelines
Many bloggers have submission guidelines on their sites. They explain what they expect and give you inside information that can be useful. For example, some bloggers prefer to receive only a “pitch” or short idea from you, rather than a long blog post you’ve already written. Others want to read the full guest blog post to know exactly what they’re getting. Knowing the submission guidelines will save you time and effort, and make you look really good to the blogger.
Reach Out to the Blogger
Once you’ve read the guidelines, it’s time to contact the blogger behind the scenes. The best way to do this is usually by email. However, some bloggers may prefer you fill out their contact form. When in doubt, use the method that the blogger asked for.
In your message, let the blogger know that you are a regular reader. If the blogger prefers a pitch, let her know what your idea is and give a brief outline of your post. If the blogger prefers to receive the full post, send it in the body of your email. This makes it less likely to be flagged as spam since you haven’t added an attachment. And it’s one less step the blogger has to take to read your material.
Keep in mind, when you write the blog post, you should use the same style and voice as the blogger. If they provide a style guide, be sure to stick to it. Your job is to make their job as easy as possible.
Add a Link
Most blogs and websites allow guest authors to include a link in their bio at the bottom of the blog post. Sometimes, you can use a link to your own site within the post, as long as it’s relevant. Either way, make sure that link goes directly to your email opt-in page. You should also make sure that people know that’s where they’re headed. You could say something like, “To learn more about building an email list using guest blogging, sign up for my email newsletter.” And then link “sign up for my email newsletter” to your landing page.
Guest blogging is a simple way to grow an email list. Simple, but not easy. It will take time to find good blogs and build a rapport with the communities behind them. But once your guests posts are up, your hard work will pay off as you watch your subscriber number grow.
Be sure to download a free worksheet you can use to help you find websites and ideas for guest blogging.